Writing by hand by the glow of a monitor like it’s Christmas morning—sitting in darkness, shoulders hunched and leaning forward, comforted by the effort to draw heat from a feeble, single light source.
Sweetly, softly stoned, my monitor is my holiday now. That and the music, a beautiful distraction from lumps in throats and hearts in pieces.
One song, one song on rotation, the obsessive’s quest for healing.
Repeating, replaying, repealing, yes, over and over we go, over that gorgeous waterfall we tumble to faltering once more.
So many edges gently taken, the blade drilled dull by the tenderness of departures. Of departures of every discernable kind. Of honourable discharges and reevings. Of turns improperly taken, or never taken at all.
I wish it were an LP, or even a 45. This crier’s lament I mean. I want it to be scratchy, to falter over grooves in the vinyl, to skip over the scars on the vinyl that bestow upon us its holiest of sounds, something scratchy you can dig your nails into and wash up later with your tears.
(If I could I would bleed to death. Thank you for asking. I would drip slowly away, one salty, scarlet kiss at a time. And I would take my time dying, take the time to survey my surroundings, to establish that there is nothing urgent worth reflecting upon, nothing in need of immediate attention. No last thought worth thinking, no last new thing to be knowing. No last book I absolutely, positively must read before departure. To say a proper good-bye, slowly and sweetly, growing ever sleepy. Would I regret this in the end, or perhaps even the middle, or—God forbid—the very start?
And what if I did regret? What if death became a prison of my own choosing, and I chose poorly after all? (But why worry if my regrets were only in regards to the death of my own choosing, and not to how the rest of my life was lived? Why worry after about all that after all?)
I want to remember you as the beautiful scar that took its time healing, the wound that took its time coming round, waiting, ever out-waiting that scratchy rotation of sound that never emanated from that turn-table over there. Because there is no movement to identify, no melody to recognize, to the lift the heart as you walk through door to the seduction of E or A minor, to the jaunty darkness of a G note held just right.
Just the empty hum of electrical wires running through this place, shining their light everywhere but where I wanted them to shine brightest.
It’s important to me, still, that manual dexterity, that gentle picking-up of and gingerly placing down again. Carefully, with utmost intent, with an earnest desire to first do no harm. I am reminded of touches I have nearly forgotten, those soft, sweet connectors sneaking up on me in the dead of night or in the clear light of morning.
Morning, not mourning; I’m not that clever by far. (And would you? Would you really? Yes you would—out front and center you would tell me that I am wrong to make that joke, that I am truly not funny and that the un-funny like me should not tax the plebs with dis-humour).
Like a rabid dog, I sound like there. Rabid and wild and held to no standard but my own.
And sometimes that is true. As is the fact that a stopped clock is still right twice a day. Unless you run on military time of course, in which case we must lower our standards.
It’s okay, really.
But I will not malign you, for there is no call.
But unfortunately for you I am the varnish that seals that the grooves that allows the rot to enter.
Even if I die tomorrow, watching death sidle up one droplet at a time. Yes, even if death arrives tomorrow I want it done right, neither foot nor heart shackled to illusions of self.
Or to the illusion of others.
So let me wipe up your tears, and my blood, and let us sit down and dig and dig and dig until we find no more, until the well, the cut, the raw edges of this wound are drained and have ceased all seeping and we are no longer frightened of what will come round again.